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Top Six Nutritional Myths and Misconceptions

Every day we are bombarded with information about what we should eat or shouldn’t eat: fats are bad, carbohydrates make you fat, and eating raw food is the way to go if you want to lose weight. And then there is the myriad of claims on vitamin and mineral supplements: Vitamin C helps to fight the common cold and a multivitamin supplement helps to ward off disease.

All these claims are untrue or unsubstantiated, even though they are commonly accepted and defended by self-acclaimed “health experts.” And, many more nutritional myths and misconceptions exist!

We have busted the Top 6 Nutritional Myths and Misconceptions:

  1. Anti-oxidant vitamins reduce the risk of chronic diseases

Many people would happily believe that their risk for chronic diseases can be substantially reduced by taking a daily supplement of anti-oxidant vitamins, such as beta-carotene and vitamin E. However, several scientific studies have shown that supplemental anti-oxidant vitamins do not do anything at all. There are certainly better ways to spend your money on your health.

  1. Body fat is dead weight

Your body fat isn’t just dead weight, but is highly dynamic. Your body fat is constantly broken down and rebuilt to assure that important organs, such as the heart, have sufficient energy to survive when you’re not eating. In addition, your fat tissues produce several hormones that play key roles in energy metabolism.

  1. High-Fructose Corn Syrup is bad for your health

It’s not the intrinsic properties of High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) that are bad, but the excess amount of HFCS in our diets. In fact, HFCS and regular table sugar differ very little in their composition.

  1. Vitamin C helps to fight the common cold

This old, well-accepted adage is controversial: only when Vitamin C is taken daily prior to a cold does it shorten the duration of a cold.

  1. Use of a multivitamin supplement is an important component of a healthy lifestyle

Multivitamin supplements are used as an ‘insurance policy’ to compensate for unhealthy eating. The basis of a healthy diet should, however, be foods and not supplements: a well-balanced diet supplies ample minerals and vitamins. Only specific groups, such as newborns, pregnant women and elderly people, are in need of specific mineral or vitamin supplements.

  1. Supplements with natural vitamins are better than supplements with synthetic vitamins

Some people argue that “synthetic” vitamins present in nearly all vitamin supplements cannot be used or recognized by the body in the same way as natural versions. It is claimed that synthetic vitamins are devoid of necessary trace minerals and must use the body’s own mineral reserves which may lead to dangerous mineral deficiencies. Sadly, there is no basis for these notions. Don’t fall prey to the propaganda of the “natural” movement.

With so many myths and misconceptions, what is the key to a healthy diet?

Join our edX courses Nutrition & Health Part 1 and Part 2. We will explain why these myths and misconceptions are unsubstantiated and false, and bust many more!

Part 1 on Macronutrients and Overnutrition will teach all about the fat, carbs and protein present in our foods, what happens to these components after you have consumed them, and how these components may impact health. Part 2 on Micronutrients and Malnutrition focuses on vitamins, minerals, and how an insufficient intake of specific vitamins or minerals may impact health.

Both courses will help you become more critical and arm you with the necessary tools to better weigh and interpret the information overload about nutrition and health.

Join us today!